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Competitive fire burns within laidback Hawley star Harms

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Hawley pitcher Jordan Harms has struck out 79 batters in 36 innings. At the plate, he’s hitting .482 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 56 at-bats. David Samson / The Forum
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Hawley, Minn.  - The whimsical and nonchalant way Hawley (Minn.) senior Jordan Harms goes about things can often be confused for lack of competitiveness. His answers to questions are short and often followed with a shrug of his shoulders and a smile. His hair is on the opposite side of the spectrum, long and shaggy.
“I think it’s important to be relaxed, but when you need to be dialed in, be dialed in,” Harms said. “I like the pressure. As far as being too laid-back, I don’t think I’m too laid-back, but maybe. I’m just trying to get strikes and not let anyone get hits.”
Ask the batters who have struck out 79 times in Harms’ 36 innings on the mound if he isn’t competitive. Look at him glare after any of those 79 strikeouts and try to say he doesn’t care.
“The mindset is so crucial with him,” Hawley coach Beau Lofgren said. “He’s really taken it upon himself to step up and be that leader on the field. Whether he’s playing football or basketball or Trivia Crack, he wants to win. He sees that this is his senior year and this is the last sport he’ll be wearing a Hawley jersey. I think he realizes how special he is and has taken it upon himself to be that guy when it’s crunch time.”
For 15-2 Hawley, Harms is hitting .482 with three homers, 27 RBIs, 20 runs and 10 stolen bases in 56 at-bats. He’s 5-0 on the mound with one save and has given up nine hits, nine walks and one earned run in his 36 innings.
“If he’s at the plate, he’s mad if he doesn’t hit a home run,” Lofgren said. “Yesterday, he went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, four RBIs and drew a walk. He was mad. He expects to hit the ball hard every single time. He puts so much pressure on himself because he knows how talented he is. Off the field, he’s very mellow and laid-back, but when the umpire says, ‘Play ball,’ be somewhere else because he’s coming after you.”
It’s hard to imagine Harms not in a Hawley jersey. He’s been the quarterback and safety on the football team and a guard on the basketball team seemingly forever. For baseball, Lofgren has never had a lineup card not featuring a Harms. Jordan’s oldest brother, Brady, played from 2003-2006 and his other older brother Taylor played from 2007-2010. Then came Jordan from 2011-2015.
“It’s bittersweet,” Harms said. “At the same time, I’m the leader on this team, and I have to focus and help us go as far as we can.”
Lofgren is planning for the future.
“I’ve been telling the older (Harms) to get busy having kids,” Lofgren said.
Harms really has nothing to gain from playing baseball. He’s set to play football for Minnesota State Moorhead next season and has a chance to compete for playing time at safety.
“I’ve always played baseball,” Harms said. “There’s no doubt in my mind I was going to play baseball. It’s one of my favorite things to do in life. I’ve been playing since I was 7 years old. It’s a blue-collar sport where you can shoot the breeze in the dugout and come out and play.”
That’s what No. 16-ranked Hawley will do, as Class 2A, Section 8 playoffs begin today. The Nuggets will try to make it back-to-back section titles and their fourth since 2008.
Harms is ready for his final bow on the Hawley stage.
“We’re almost spoiled,” Lofgren said. “I feel so bad for our defense some days because they don’t get balls hit to them. He may be relaxed, but he’s about as intense as a player I’ve seen anywhere. He really thrives on the spotlight, whereas other people are looking over the shoulder wondering when they’re going to be taken out of it.”

Related Topics: BASEBALL
Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: cmurphy@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5548
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